「Absolution; 容赦」 (Yousha)
Our first cour of Accel World comes to a close with the end of Chrome Disaster’s arc and I think it’s a very fitting way to lead into the second half of this series. The first half did a great job in setting up the Accel World universe, introducing a very colorful (quite literally) cast of characters and a lot of elements in the story other than simply reaching level 10 and “winning the game”. Each arc also gets increasingly more interesting and deep as more characters are involved and the issues expand outside Haruyuki (and company). The maturity level of all the level 9 Kings never ceases to amaze me and I often forget that they’re only “kids” – in age anyway.
I admit that Accel World has a few elements that never surprise me – a lot of it involving Haruyuki’s ability to overcome (almost) everything; after all, he’s a pretty bright guy. But there are definitely more events (recently) that catch me off guard and actually make my heart skip a beat. This being Yuniko’s cheap shot at Kuroyukihime and the result of Chrome Disaster (after Cherry Rook’s defeat). I felt that his death came almost a little too easily and quickly… there must be something up with the voice that Haruyuki hears. When will it play its role again, I’m not too sure, but it’ll probably take over Haruyuki’s mind as his desire to level up and become stronger overcomes his reasons for doing so (his reasons being… for Kuroyukihime).
I want to say I told you so… but even I got it slightly wrong. I made a prediction after episode 8 that the “monster” ripping everyone apart was probably Yuniko’s protégé. It appears that Yuniko was actually Cherry Rook’s protégé instead, which I can imagine, makes it all the more difficult for Cherry Rook to accept Yuniko (Scarlet Rain) passing him. If I was someone’s guardian, although I would be proud that my protégé managed to surpass me, I would probably feel very bitter about it. I understand that Accel World is about striving for level 10 and “winning”, but it’s still hard to accept someone that you trained – would become your king one day. Perhaps I’m just very competitive in nature…
The arc comes to a close by introducing Yuniko as a permanent member in Haruyuki’s household. I admit – she’s grown a lot on me and even though I’m usually not a fan of crazy lolis, I will make an exception this time. Yuniko’s background story has been such a tragedy; she’s lost so many important people in her life (her parents and now Cherry Rook is moving away) that I almost feel like she deserves to be with Haruyuki if he makes her happy (which I’m sure he does). The ending scene with the cookies was a nice touch between the two characters as well. Haruyuki’s not afraid to show how he really feels – which I assume, is appreciation for Yuniko’s friendship.
Next episode brings back Chiyuri and her introduction to the Brain Burst software?! Finally! Accel World never has a dull moment and I love it.